Worship was held on Sunday, March 26, 2023, at Ray Of Hope Church @ 10:30 a.m. in person and interactively on the Internet using Skype as we celebrated the fifth Sunday of Lent, and the fourth Sunday of Women's History Month. Download the Order of Worship with weekly announcements: RIGHT CLICK HERE. View the Facebook Live recording of the worship event: RIGHT CLICK HERE.
***WOKE*** Conservatives have taken over the expression "woke" popularized by African-American young men. African-Americans used the word to mean staying awake and alert, to have been "woke" up and paying attention to the cultural and religious movements of the past, present, and potential futures. The Ray Of Hope Church Statement of Purpose calls us to stay "woke" at all times, paying attention to the world of religion, politics, and society.
We did not start a new kind of Christianity. In fact, Ray Of Hope Church teaches the same Christian faith of ancient ecumenical consensus. St. Vincent of Lerins, a fifth-century monk and theologian, described it as "what has been believed always, everywhere, and by all."
To our LGBTQSIA2ss+++ friends out there, we like to say: We are the church made by you, and for you, because we ARE YOU! You are as welcome here as Christ Jesus, Himself. Today you will find persons of every sexual orientation and every gender expression in our congregation and in our leadership.
To donate and assist with our expenses, use our secure PayPal link: http://rayofhopechurch.com/DONATE_RAYOFHOPE.htm. You may also donate by sending your donation to Ray Of Hope Church 380 W. 1st St. Elmira, NY 14901, with the attention Treasurer. We always say give what you can but never give your last. Thank you and God bless you.
There are three points in today's video to start with. 1) All people from all times and places will experience the resurrection of their own bodies. The first reading and the psalm assure all who are Jewish, in the Household of Israel will be resurrected and even brought into their own Homeland in fulfillment of the Messianic Kingdom that has not occurred as of 2023. The second reading assures everyone in the church will also be resurrected in their own bodies. In our current public discussions regarding LGBTQSIA2ss+ persons being out of step with the church, politics, and God it is vital that we understand all is well with God. In Romans 8:9, 10, 11 we are assured that our sexual orientation and gender expression are not hindrances to our resurrection and eternal life. In these verses, we read God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit live within us and this assures us of resurrection. The Gospel reading includes Jesus promising to resurrect all who believe in Him (the church). Jesus declares resurrection is the glory of God.
2) We celebrated the fourth Sunday of Women's History. We reminded people to look at the Government's Women's History website: (https://womenshistorymonth.gov/ ) We discussed the magazine: "Women's History, National Women's History Alliance | 2023." (https://nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/ ) (download the Women's History magazine here: (https://nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/.../NWHA... ) We looked at some good resources regarding women in the Bible. One article suggests the women who followed Jesus may have been women of financial means. Here is the article: https://www.ncfgiving.com/.../4-lessons-from-the-women.../
We spent significant time looking at the life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and her trust in God’s plan for her life.
Finally, we drew attention to the unfortunate teaching that was published by the Roman Catholic Bishops in the United States regarding Trans care and Trans health. Ray Of Hope Church completely disagrees with the Bishops. Here is a short piece of that section.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
DOCTRINAL NOTE ON THE MORAL LIMITS TO TECHNOLOGICAL MANIPULATION OF THE HUMAN BODY. 20 March 2023, section 20, page 12: Any technological intervention that does not accord with the fundamental order of the human person as a unity of body and soul, including the sexual difference inscribed in the body, ultimately does not help but, rather, harms the human person.
DOCTRINAL NOTE ON THE MORAL LIMITS TO TECHNOLOGICAL MANIPULATION OF THE HUMAN BODY. 20 March 2023, section 18, pages 11& 12: Catholic health care services must not perform interventions, whether surgical or chemical, that aim to transform the sexual characteristics of a human body into those of the opposite sex or take part in the development of such procedures. They must employ all appropriate resources to mitigate the suffering of those who struggle with gender incongruence, but the means used must respect the fundamental order of the human body. Only by using morally appropriate means do healthcare providers show full respect for the dignity of each human person. To read the entire document, click here: https://www.usccb.org/.../Doctrinal%20Note%202023-03-20.pdf ========================================
TO BE CLEAR: ALL TRANS PERSONS ARE WELCOME AT RAY OF HOPE CHURCH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, INC. To make this point you will see two trans Members of Ray Of Hope showing the Blessed Sacrament from the Altar during the Holy Communion portion of the worship.